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A Son Of The Wilderness
by [?]

Rachette told the story to Medallion and the Little Chemist’s wife on Sunday after Mass, and because he was vain of his English he forsook his own tongue and paid tribute to the Anglo-Saxon.

“Ah, she was so purty, that Norinne, when she drive through the parishes all twelve days, after the wedding, a dance every night, and her eyes and cheeks on fire all the time. And Bargon, bagosh! that Bargon, he have a pair of shoulders like a wall, and five hunder’ dollars and a horse and wagon. Bagosh, I say that time: ‘Bargon he have put a belt round the world and buckle it tight to him–all right, ver’ good.’ I say to him: ‘Bargon, what you do when you get ver’ rich out on the Souris River in the prairie west?’ He laugh and throw up his hands, for he have not many words any kind. And the dam little dwarf Parpon, he say: ‘He will have flowers on the table and ice on the butter, and a wheel in his head.’

“And Bargon laugh and say: ‘I will have plenty for my friends to eat and drink and a ver’ fine time.’ “‘Good,’ we all say-‘Bagosh!’ So they make the trip through twelve parish, and the fiddles go all the time, and I am what you say ‘best man’ with Bargon. I go all the time, and Lucette Dargois, she go with me and her brother–holy, what an eye had she in her head, that Lucette! As we go we sing a song all right, and there is no one sing so better as Norinne:

“‘C’est la belle Francoise,
Allons gai!
C’est la belle Francoise,
Qui veut se marier,
Ma luron lurette!
Qui veut se marier,
Ma luron lure!’

“Ver’ good, bagosh! Norinne and Bargon they go out to the Souris, and Bargon have a hunder’ acre, and he put up a house and a shed not ver’ big, and he carry his head high and his shoulders like a wall; yes, yes. First year it is pretty good time, and Norinne’s cheeks–ah, like an apple they. Bimeby a baby laugh up at Bargon from Norinne’s lap. I am on the Souris at a saw-mill then, and on Sunday sometime I go up to see Bargon and Norinne. I t’ink that baby is so dam funny; I laugh and pinch his nose. His name is Marie, and I say I marry him pretty quick some day. We have plenty hot cake, and beans and pork, and a little how-you-are from a jar behin’ the door.

“Next year it is not so good. There is a bad crop and hard time, and Bargon he owe two hunder’ dollar, and he pay int’rest. Norinne, she do all the work, and that little Marie, there is dam funny in him, and Norinne, she keep go, go, all the time, early and late, and she get ver’ thin and quiet. So I go up from the mill more times, and I bring fol-lols for that Marie, for you know I said I go to marry him some day. And when I see how Bargon shoulders stoop and his eye get dull, and there is nothing in the jar behin’ the door, I fetch a horn with me, and my fiddle, and, bagosh! there is happy sit-you-down. I make Bargon sing ‘La Belle Francoise,’ and then just before I go I make them laugh, for I stand by the cradle and I sing to that Marie:

“‘Adieu, belle Francoise;
Allons gai!
Adieu, belle Francoise!
Moi, je to marierai,
Ma luron lurette! Moi,
je to marierai,
Ma luron lure!’

“So; and another year it go along, and Bargon he know that if there come bad crop it is good-bye-my lover with himselves. He owe two hunder’ and fifty dollar. It is the spring at Easter, and I go up to him and Norinne, for there is no Mass, and Pontiac is too far away off. We stan’ at the door and look out, and all the prairie is green, and the sun stan’ up high like a light on a pole, and the birds fly by ver’ busy looking for the summer and the prairie-flower.